The Loss of CAL FIRE Fire Apparatus Engineer/Paramedic
When CAL FIRE Fire Apparatus Engineer/Paramedic Christopher Douglas was fatally injured July 5, while responding to a traffic collision in Riverside County , the entire CAL FIRE family felt the loss.
"It is an extremely difficult and sad time for family members and the firefighting brethren," said Alan Barcelona, president of the California Statewide Law Enforcement Association (CSLEA). "That's why it was so important for stress management teams to mobilize to Riverside County and to be there for those who were in need of emotional support.
Among those responding to lend support were Darren Watkins and Robert Stouffer, both members of CSLEA, the Fire Marshal and Emergency Services Association (FMESA) and CAL FIRE communications operators.
"Employee support came from Sacramento, Fresno, San Bernardino, San Diego and Riverside," said Watkins. "We were there seven days to make sure employees and family members had what they needed. We made contact with employees and family members both on and off duty, at fire stations and via family outreach events. During our seven day assignment, we made over 1500 contacts."
Douglas's career spanned over 9 1/2 years as a veteran firefighter for CAL FIRE. He was struck by a vehicle on Interstate 10 and died a few hours later. Engineer Douglas, 41, is survived by his wife, Amy, who is expecting their second child, and two year-old son, Samuel "Sammy".
"Our thoughts continue to be with his family, his friends, his fellow firefighters and comm ops," said Barcelona. "What happened was extremely tragic."